Opinion: A wider menu

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As avid readers, we each day receive a panoply of updates, blasts, news and posts about all sort and manner of ideas. Even this paper appears in our mailboxes eagerly enticing us to open, review and stay a while. Because of the many topics that might pique our interest, social media bots, editorial pros and would-be lifestyle experts all gauge our thinking with an eye to deliver more of said content to keep us interested – and their product above the constant chatter of this media age. Tailored articles and suggested-columns all fill our senses. 

It is a bit as if our favorite restaurant took note that we have had the same general menu item three of the last five visits. Promptly, it removed all other flavors and created a menu just for us. Gone would be anything that might allow us to stray from our daily ritual of meat and potatoes. Countless variations on the singular theme would be advanced. Would we consider potatoes and meat? How about a lot of meat and a little potatoes? Or, could we suggest a lot of potatoes and little meat? 

In a world where we customize to a narrow slice of the menu, aren’t we missing the abundance of our choices? And, can our bodies remain healthy, or even survive, on a diet compressed to our limited notions of what we might enjoy? Discerning, reading, contemplating – each requires a modicum of adventure. How can we come to know our tastes if we only sample things we already know? Certainly, the safe, easy choice is the familiar and the self-reinforcing. At times, a hearty meat and potato stew is warranted, if not required. Still, is it suited for a daily diet? Pineapple is not my favorite. Brussels sprouts are. Isn’t there room for both on my plate?

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